Date(s) - 01/02/2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
620,000 years of eastern African climate change and its nexus with hominin evolution
by Verena Förster-Indenhuck,
University of Cologne
What role did climate dynamics play in the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens within and beyond Africa, and in key cultural innovations? Were gradual climatic changes, rapid shifts from wet to dry, or short-term climate flickers drivers of human evolution and migration? As a contribution towards an enhanced understanding of those possible human-climate interactions we present here a new nearly complete climatic and environmental record of the last ~620,000 years from the Chew Bahir Basin in southern Ethiopia. Our results show that the full proxy record from Chew Bahir can be divided into three phases and we can differentiate the tempo of climatic change into different modes and phases. Each of these rhythms might have triggered different responses to the profound transformation of hominin habitats. These phases are furthermore marked by key milestones in the story of our lineage, becoming human and dispersing around and out of Africa.
Image credit: Annett Junginger
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